We don’t need no stinkin badges…

Well, here I am again, in pre-production. Excited. Terrified. Occupying an emotional tilt that could be likened to the climax of the 1986 film SPACE CAMP— wherein the Space Shuttle Atlantis is low on oxygen, has missed the last safe re-entry window, and is actively de-orbiting whether it has an LZ or not. Perhaps I’m 12-year-old Joaquin Phoenix in this scenario, too enthusiastic and naive to truly appreciate the danger. But it’s happening.

We won't acknowledge the Challenger disaster. Read more →

Vamoose, José’s on his way

I want to say that most of the time I revel in keeping the day to day simple and uncomplicated. Established patterns. Most direct point from A to B. Standard deduction. All that jazz. I like to think I have an overactive sense for details, but when it comes to most of the day to day minutia I lust for routine.

But if I’m the champion of anything, it’s self-delusion. Thus, predictably, chaos ensues. And the stories I most enjoy writing are usually anything but simple. I like intricate plots and puzzles, heavy with veiled themes and symbols, and details stacked to the sky. Even though I know it’s probably not the most accessible approach, I love sending characters and audiences down labyrinthine paths over endless depths. ‘If you get lost along the way, well maybe I’m not your gal,’ I think.

But I doubt very much this is a recipe for true success. I’d like to think that’s it’s not from a place where I’m trying to outsmart the audience, but rather that I want to produce the maximum reward. To craft the sense of immense triumph on making it through for whatever niche audience has had the patience and wherewithal to unlock a few secrets and come through with my characters.

Perhaps I’m stubborn. Perhaps those notions should be discouraged. So maybe I’ll start something new with the penultimate goal of keeping everything simple.

Maybe after the eighteen other things I’ve got on my plate right now.

The voice of a ghost rattling around in my head.

A Biographical Sketch


I was drunk for pretty much every waking moment from the age of thirteen until nineteen, including the irregular Eucharist I was badgered into on behalf of my dead Sainted mother. She was piety incarnate as far as anyone in the neighborhood was concerned, which is where I stayed mostly because wandering too far usually resulted in a split lip, busted nose and bruised knuckles. I guess the wandering didn’t account for it as much as the drinking, but hangovers never bothered me because there was always another flask on hand.

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Trouble and strife can cover this world like the dark of night…

Trouble and strife can cover this world like the dark of night, or like smoke from a suspicious fire, and when that happens…all good, true and decent people know that it’s time to volunteer.

—Lemony Snicket

Why, tis no matter, man; if they did hear, they would not mark me.

Why, tis no matter, man; if they did hear,
They would not mark me, or if they did mark,
They would not pity me, yet plead I must;
And bootless unto them [—]
Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones; Read more →

The Night they drove old Dixie down.

Bit of detail obsession as I work up the nerve to tackle another impractical and completely unfilmable period piece. Don’t judge my choices.

Craig Swain’s blog series tracking Stoneman’s Raid has been super helpful parsing out dates and movements, not to mention being a great read besides. Wish Google Maps had the ability to draw the more specific paths to capture troop movements, splitting forces, merges and such, but this should get the timing down close enough for my purposes.